Awww Spring. Don’t you just love this time of year? I do. The snow starts melting, the leaves come out, everything’s blooming, the rivers and lakes refill and you know that the warm days of summer are on their way.
For as long as I can remember, our family vacation spot each year has been Bear Lake. For 5 fun filled days or so in the summer we’d camp up a canyon in the pines on the Idaho side of the lake and drive to the North beach everyday. It was always the highlight of the summer because usually it was the only official summer vacation we had. Yes it’s true kiddies, one summer vacation. There were, occasionally, a few summers where we’d get a bonus vacation. And that’s when we first went to Smith & Morehouse.
I’ll be honest, my Dad has never been much of a camper so my mom loaded all us kids in the car and headed out for a few days of camping fun while my dad had to stay behind to ‘work’. As every parent knows, there are trips and there are vacations. As a parent, a ‘family vacation’ is usually a working trip because you’re still doing all the care, home set-up, cooking and clean-up – just without the modern conveniences – plus you have all the prep and packing and unpacking. A vacation is where you don’t have a care in the world, no one to answer to, you can do as you please without a single interruption. You can wake up early, you can sleep in, you can have peace and quiet, you can relax, you can walk around in your underwear if you want....looking back, I think my Dad was the one on vacation. My Mom was on the family trip.
My maternal grandparents were already camping at Smith & Morehouse. And as it says on the Reserve America website “Smith and Morehouse Campground is located a very short distance from Smith and Morehouse Reservoir on the western edge of the Uinta Mountains” but I already knew that. You get the picture though. Its a small isolated campground just beneath a dam surrounded by pines and fresh mountain air. A place to just chill and let it all hang out. The campground was roughly an hour and a half from our home. We left the next morning.
I’m sure we were so hyped-up on the anticipation of fun with cousins (and probably an unhealthy dose of sugar from homemade treats) that I honestly don’t know how my mom did it with all the kids. I wondered what fun new adventures awaited us at Smith & Morehouse? As an adult, hours can seem like seconds but as a kid, hours seem like years. Finally we saw a familiar forest service sign that said Smith & Morehouse and we knew we were close to our destination. As we rounded the turns in the campground we were intently looking for the familiar trailer or truck or faces of my grandparents and relatives so we’d know where we’d call ‘home’ for the next few days.
It was the middle of the week and the campground was uncrowded and quiet. We watched as chipmunks scampered across the road and listened to the familiar sounds of squirrels and birds chirping in the trees as we made our way. It was a gorgeous day. Would we see deer or skunks or moose or any other wildlife? This was going to be awesome. Suddenly my mom slowed the car and shrieked in pure horror “Don’t look over there!” as she pointed over to my right. Being the obedient son that I am, I immediately looked to the camp spot on my right, exactly where my mom was pointing so I would know exactly where I shouldn’t look in the future. There, sitting on a picnic table, was a man and woman kissing....both were buck naked.
“Wow! Don’t look over there!” I parroted my mom pointing in the same direction as to warn my younger siblings. The whole time keeping my eyes focused on where we shouldn’t look as my mom increased her speed and rounded the corner. Funnily enough, we reached the campsite where my grandparents were very quickly and immediately had to share the scandalous news with everyone. We even had to jump on the motorcycle or 3-wheelers to take cousins down the road and show them where they shouldn’t ever look - just so they would be prepared.
We tease my Mom about that incident to this day. She always says that if she hadn’t been so shocked she would have pointed out the left side of the car and said..”Hey kids look at that pretty bird over there” or something like that, til we passed. But she didn’t.
Now that I am older, I just have one question – who was the unfortunate family who unknowingly ate their bologna sandwiches on the certain picnic table the next day?
I was reminded of the old Smith & Morehouse event just this week as I read in the news (on KSL.com look it up) of a couple that was arrested for lewd behavior and public intoxication on the lawn of a catholic church during a wedding no less...the man was 65 and she was late 50-something...eeww! So disturbing!
.....But I did have another question come to mind...Had they ever been to Smith & Morehouse? .......Please....Don’t look over there!!!